Hey, Masterminds—we have a challenge for you: Can you name five female comic book writers? What about five ladies who write for TV? Or five female screenwriters? Sure, the YA lit world is full of and dominated by talented ladies like JK Rowling and Suzanne Collins, but the rest of the writing landscape still suffers from a bit of an imbalance. In fact, in some areas, like TV, female writers are dwindling. But there are still plenty out there who rock socks. Here are 7 women who are currently kicking butt in their respective writing realms:
Author of the short story collections Pretty Monsters and Steampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories, Link manages to be accessible, bursting with intellect, and laden with geektastic pop culture references all at the same time. Pretty Monsters, for example, features stories about post-apocalyptic poker games and handbags inhabited by faeries with a lot of personality! Her work is often categorized as magic realism, and NPR said reading her books isn’t like reading, “it's more like experiencing the strangest dream of your life.” Pretty much, and trust us—you won’t want these dreams to end.
A British author best known for her 2004 novel Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Clarke has oft been called a modern-day female Dickens. Her work delves way more into the magical and fantastical than Dickens, though, and this woman can write a mean fairy tale (see: The Ladies of Grace Adieu which features a killer Rumplestiltskin retelling). Neil Gaiman read her very first short story and passed it on to his publisher friend, saying about her writing: “It was like watching someone sit down to play the piano for the first time and she plays a sonata.” Trust us, Masterminds. It’s music to your eyes, mind, and imagination.
Author of Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, and Stiff (which is pretty much the least gross and most informative book about cadavers ever written... but it’s still kinda gross at times cause it’s about cadavers), Roach is one of the most interesting science-centered writers around today. She peppers her prose with deadpan witticisms, and her personality seeps through during her astute observations—she’s kinda like a grown up Daria who writes about science.
Most people know her as Ann Perkins on Parks and Recreation, but this multi-talented lady recently made her first foray into screenwriting, with great success. This year, she starred in and co-wrote the comedy Celeste and Jesse Forever co-starring Andy Samberg. But she’s also a pretty snazzy comic book writer. She co-wrote the comic Frenemy of the State, which is slated to become a major movie next year (she’ll write that script too) and will likely increase the popularity of the comic, which is about a Paris Hilton type socialite who ends up working for the CIA. Funny stuff!
One of the original head writers of The Office, and author of last year’s gut-busting and relatable bestseller Is Everyone Hanging Out With Me?, Kaling now has her own show, The Mindy Project, which, after initial viewing, looks like one of fall’s most promising new shows. She’s also a voracious and hilarious tweeter. Sample tweets? “I wanna live in a world where the only person I see or interact with is Schmidt from The New Girl,” and “I jog slowly to Dido songs pretending I’m a kid in Hunger Games, sometimes I cry.” Nearly everything she writes is hilarious, which is why we love her.
A woman of many trades, Doran is a writer, illustrator, and cartoonist. Her ongoing webcomic/graphic novel series A Distant Soil, (which she began writing when she was 12 years old) was telling the story of an avatar before James Cameron did. Her Dune-esque saga is what she’s best known for, but she’s also an awesome illustrator (Mangaman) and, like Susanna Clarke, she counts Neil Gaiman as a fan—and co-worker. The two collaborated on Gaiman’s iconic series The Sandman, and are currently working on a new project for Dark Horse comics.
Both graphic novelist and children’s book author, the creator of Persepolis and its sequel writes from an incredibly unique perspective. Born in Iran, Satrapi lived through the Iraq-Iran war before moving to Austria to both study and escape oppressive Iranian regimes. Her stories reflect her wise and worldly perspective, and are always rich with lessons that resonate as opposed to feeling preachy.
Did we miss any amazing women that you think are breaking the mold with their writing?